OCD

Dear fellow OCD sufferer,

I want you to know that I understand what you’re going through. I really do.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder was my tormentor for 20 years. I know the shame and torment caused by intrusive thoughts, the enslavement to rituals and compulsions, the intense, crippling need for certainty.  I remember all too well the wild evenings of obsession and devastating fear when the agony was full-throttle torture and relief seemed impossible. OCD is slavery, and I know what it’s like to be in bondage.

I have good news for you: OCD is treatable.

Today, I am free!  I still have OCD, but I am in charge of it and not the other way around.  I rarely have obsessions, and when I do, I am able to combat them without using compulsions.  It is a completely different life.  I have stepped from darkness into light, from terror into peace. In the past five years, I have had maybe 4-5 minor OCD incidents, and each of them has lasted only for a couple hours. When I compare this to the continual torture I experienced before, this is more than manageable.

And all this came about after just twelve weeks of intense cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), a specific kind called exposure and response prevention therapy (ERP).  It is recognized as the #1 treatment for OCD in the world.  It is difficult– in ERP, you face your obsessions head-on and refuse to alleviate the anxiety by performing compulsions– but, believe me, ERP is not more difficult than living daily life with OCD. ERP is the correct answer to how to treat OCD.  Medication can also help, and in rare cases, a miraculous healing occurs, but for the majority of cases, ERP is absolutely the way to treat OCD.

Please explore the links below to learn about OCD and ERP.  Educate yourself and ask lots of questions!

About OCD
Do I have OCD?
Obsessions
Theme Hopping
I am obsessing RIGHT NOW
OCD torture
OCD & suicidal thoughts
Obsessive-compulsives are NOT alone
There is hope!
The long journey to diagnosis

About CBT/ERP
Gaining Certainty through Embracing Uncertainty
Resisting treatment?

What life was like before & after CBT
Obsessing vs. Brainstorming: before & after
A Detailed Post about ERP
ERP is the RIGHT Answer
Better than a Band-Aid
Embracing Uncertainty
What CBT was like for me
Will treatment change me?
Why You Need CBT/ERP
Have Reservations about ERP?
Preparing for CBT/ERP
ERP & Imaginal Exposures
Uncertainty is the Key
The Problem with Seeking Reassurance
Finding a cognitive-behavioral therapist
Medication vs. Exposure Therapy
Can’t afford CBT/ERP?  Try this app or do self-directed ERP

For Family & Friends
How to Care for the Obsessive-Compulsive in Your Life

HOCD (Homosexual OCD)
HOCD
A Closer Look at HOCD
Interview with a Former HOCD Sufferer
A Big Ol’ HOCD Post

Medication
Missing one dose throws me off
They’re NOT Happy Pills

OCD & Christianity
(or other religious scrupulosity)
OCD, ERP, and Christianity
I’m a Christian and Take Meds!
Unashamed of my OCD
Is the thought from OCD … or God?
God’s Sovereignty, OCD, the Cross, & His Purposes
Is Mental Illness a Spiritual Issue?
Is ERP Sinful?
OCD & Faith (or Lack Thereof): a Double Interview

About OCD & Children
Discussing OCD with Children
Obsessive-compulsive since age seven

Remission
OCD in Remission
Life after Treatment
When to expect a relapse
Am I Bitter?
Lies I Sometimes Still Believe

Other Related Posts
OCD Stockholm Syndrome
Unashamed
End Stigma
Addressing Stigma: I Don’t Choose This
Obsessive-compulsives are Brave
ERP & Profanity
OCD & Nutrition
How I Fall Asleep
My Personal ERP Script (warning: triggers, especially for religious obsessions)

frustration

32 responses to “OCD

  1. OCD Pure-O Scrupulosity

    Hey Jackie, just curious if you have read “turning a blind eye” by Esther L. Jones?

  2. Sorry it’s actually, Turning a Blind “I”. I do! I had a lot of questions at the end, but it is a true story of a lady with scrupulosity OCD

  3. Pingback: The ABCs of OCD | Lights All Around

  4. Pingback: Navigating my Site: Help? | Lights All Around

  5. Pingback: A War in the Mind | Jackie Lea Sommers

  6. Pingback: Black Dot: My Narrative Therapy | Jackie Lea Sommers

  7. Pingback: OCD & Faith (or Lack Thereof): a Double Interview | Jackie Lea Sommers

  8. Pingback: Not Afraid to Tell the Truth | Jackie Lea Sommers

  9. Pingback: Sweet Freedom | Jackie Lea Sommers

  10. Pingback: THINGS WILL NEVER BE OKAY AGAIN [& other lies I sometimes still believe] | Jackie Lea Sommers

  11. Pingback: Shades of Gray | Jackie Lea Sommers

  12. Pingback: A Big Ol’ HOCD Post | Jackie Lea Sommers

  13. Pingback: Choosing Treatment: a Parable | Jackie Lea Sommers

  14. Pingback: The Invisible Fight | Jackie Lea Sommers

  15. Pingback: OCD & Faith | Jackie Lea Sommers

  16. Pingback: OCD in Remission: Eyes on OCD or Eyes on the Journey? | Jackie Lea Sommers

  17. Pingback: Obsessing vs. Brainstorming | Jackie Lea Sommers

  18. Pingback: Obsessive-Compulsives are Brave. | Jackie Lea Sommers

  19. Pingback: Life after OCD Treatment | Jackie Lea Sommers

  20. Pingback: Healing This Way | Jackie Lea Sommers

  21. Pingback: Not a Therapist, Just a Resource | Jackie Lea Sommers

  22. Pingback: Co-Morbidity | Jackie Lea Sommers

  23. Pingback: The [Beautiful] Paradox of ERP | Jackie Lea Sommers

  24. papercat

    Hi! I just wanted to tell you that your posts are an inspiration. (I have hocd and I have a particularly disgusting manifestation – getting stuck on girl parts). It’s been a hellish, breakdown-inducing ride until I finally got proper treatment.
    Anyway, I’m looking forward to reading your book, Truest. :)

    • Hi friend! Oh my goodness, thank you so much for your kind comment! Please make yourself at home on my website and email me anytime (contact info is under the ABOUT tab)!

      Likewise, I too can’t wait till you (and everyone!) get to read my story!! Thank you!

      • papercat

        Aaaw, that’s so sweet of you! I already feel guilty talking to you because I’m so much older than you are, and I might creep you out. T_T To say that I don’t really look like my age and shrieks like a schoolgirl when things are kawaii doesn’t make things better. Or maybe this is why I love Rainbow Rowell – she’s a mom and all and YET – Eleanor and Park.
        Anyway… your HOCD posts and the ERP prayer gave me so much peace. Because of your ERP prayer, I felt that I don’t have to feel bad or sick when I do ERP. It’s part of the program! It’s -the- cure. And you were right! ERP can be nasty- esp if you look at it with the pre-HOCD mindset… but as you get to accept that you have it AND you can beat the sh*t out of it, it gets better. There really is an element of dying to oneself. To your old self, the pre-HOCD self. It takes a while to sink in that the old or stereotypical way of gauging if you are straight no longer applies to you. It almost feels like a total life change. But as you see yourself getting stronger and more connected with God, sometimes there’s a part of you that says, it’s worth it.

        Bless you! :D Me too, I can’t wait to read your book!

  25. Anna

    Dearest Jackie Lea,

    I came across your blog while searching for ‘exposure therapy Christian’.
    I have struggled with major depression, anxiety, OCD (primarily unwanted intrusive thoughts) and borderline personality traits for most of my life.
    I have attained a huge measure of freedom through Christian trauma counselling (I managed to find an excellent psychologically-sound form ;)).
    While the SSRI and Clonazepam and Quetiapine stopped me from feeling like I was going insane with the thoughts, the truest breakthrough came by working through childhood trauma. I simply didn’t fear the thoughts anymore and so they just didn’t come up. I didn’t even realise this had happened until 6 months into the treatment. I also had several wonderful one-on-one healing conversations and experiences with Jesus which helped tremendously.
    Having had Serotonin Syndrome I was pulled off most of my meds (horrrific) and put onto an NRI (works on the noradrenaline side of things rather than the serotonin side of things) alongside the Clonazepam and Quetiapine.
    First of all, all I could notice was the darkest depression and anxiety. Now that the new meds (Reboxetine and the others I mentioned) have slowly started to kick in, that is abating but today I experienced my first deeply disturbing OCD thought in probably a year. I feel devastated as I simply could not ignore it and I don’t know why.
    In the last week I experienced a new traumatic recollection and in some ways the thought is connected to what happened to me but projected onto someone else vulnerable and I am the ‘perpetrator’ in this unwanted thought.
    I’ve downloaded the Live free from OCD app and will do it as I notice that some of my anxious thoughts are also OCD thoughts.
    I will talk to my counsellor about it tomorrow.
    Do you have any advice, my friend? I am a little anxious to start a whole course of self-treatment when I have only had 1 or 2 thoughts. Is there a simpler way after you have overcome it before (or thought you had?).

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart,

    Anna

    • Hi Anna! Thanks for your comment– make yourself at home on my website, friend!

      ERP is essentially the only treatment for OCD (though for a very few medication alone will do the trick) … but I definitely recommend getting an official diagnosis of OCD from a professional before you dive in!

  26. Thanks so much Jackie Lea. I will jump onto your website :) I have already had a professional diagnosis of all the above all the Borderline is just traits.
    I just don’t know why they have resurfaced after so much freedom!
    God bless you for helping others,

    Anna :)

  27. Pingback: Self-Directed ERP Therapy | Jackie Lea Sommers

  28. Pingback: Another Interview with a Former HOCD Sufferer | Jackie Lea Sommers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s